Novi Sad is a chipper town with all the spoils and none of the stress of the big smoke. Locals sprawl in pretty parks and outdoor cafes, and laneway bars pack out nightly. The looming Petrovaradin Fortress keeps a stern eye on proceedings, loosening its tie each July to host Serbia's largest music festival. You can walk to all of Novi Sad's attractions from the happening pedestrian thoroughfare, Zmaj Jovina, which stretches from the main square (Trg Slobode) to Dunavska Street.
Novi Sad isn't nicknamed the 'Athens of Serbia' for nothing: its history as a vibrant, creative city continues today in its established galleries, alternative music scene and a vibe that's generally more liberal than that of other Serbian cities. Novi Sad is 2019’s European Youth Capital, and in 2021, it will become the first non-EU city to spend a year with the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture.